Septic Tanks

A new house with a septic tank on Jacksonville's Southside.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Burdened by the hefty price tag of Jacksonville’s ongoing septic tank phase out program, JEA will next month begin looking to new technologies for an alternative to traditional gravity fed sewage systems.

Bathers at American Beach.
Courtesy of the Amelia Island Museum of History

The Nassau Board of County Commissioners has made historic American Beach’s conversion from septic tanks to general sewer a priority and they’re lobbying the state government for financial aid.

Blue green algae in the St. Johns River.
Edie Widder / St. Johns Riverkeeper

During a presentation on nutrient loads caused by septic systems before the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government, Dr. Brian E. Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University, said septic tanks are a major factor behind a recent spike in harmful algal blooms. A problem that, in his opinion, is “the most important and urgent issue facing our state.”

Adam Lindquist / Maryland Department of the Environment

The Duval County Health Department will receive just over a half million dollars from the state Department of Environmental Protection for its septic tank survey project.

Peter Haden / WJCT News

The city of Jacksonville has made a $30 million deal with JEA to speed up the phase-out of septic tanks. Environmentalists are cheering the five-year plan.


Peter Haden / WJCT

Catherine Dillingham's septic tank is pooped out.

"It's old... I just had [it] pumped about two months ago. It was full."

But a full septic tank is not what qualified Dillingham’s home for a new sewer hookup - courtesy of the City of Jacksonville and JEA. It was a more natural and free-flowing feature.